Tis’ the Season

published by Fran Shea

DO YOU HEAR ME??

THIS. IS THE. SEASON.

I’ve been anxiously weefweshing weather.com in case there are any updates on the IMPENDING snow storm. Why do you care?? You aren’t a bus driver?? You rarely even drive your car!! SHHH. HUSH YOUR MOUTH. 

My son-in-law risked life/limb (AGAIN.) to climb up on the roof to hang the Christmas lights – making our house the most festive on the block.

Sorry neighbors!

AND I (and Sticker Mule) made a MAGNETIC manger scene 

that will be added to our shop as soon as I feel like it or as soon as I am visited by the Christmas Spirit. STAY TUNED.

But what could be more Christmassy than Current Political Events?? Nothing puts me more in the mood than speculation on homicide vs. suicide by serial pedophiles! 

 

206 Bones AND Licensed Art

published by Fran Shea

Did you know that a three-year-old’s collar bone can be broken with just a spinning tire swing?? IT CAN!! In 1988, old-fashioned fun quickly turned into a nightmare. Sure, I might have had impossibly bronzed skin,

and kissable Zinc Pink lips, but that didn’t prevent me from absent-mindedly spinning that tire swing straight into my little sister and knocking her to the ground.

That reminds me! A collar bone is just one of the 206 bones that a person can break and I only broke ONE bone in her little body! DO YOU HEAR ME, ALICE??

RSVP (the Art Licensor), wanted us to make a birthday card:Luckily, I carried that teeny incident with me for 32 years!

IRL

published by Fran Shea

Every 25 years I like to feel disturbed so I watch Matt Damon bludgeon Jude Law to death with an oar and then cuddle his dead body in the bottom of a little boat before sinking it with a pile of rocks.

(Happy Halloween!)

#Oldestintern must know how attracted to that era I am because she entrusted me with 166 pages of inspiration. And by “entrusted me” I meant she forgot an old magazine at my house. (Sorry, Madge!)

But the 1950’s fashion DID inspire me!

ALSO,  after a whirlwind of (Jen) printing and Dinah (detachedly) choosing paper and envelopes, I can finally stop being such a social butterfly and photograph the new cards. PHEW!

I want everyone to feel included, so here’s a card I posted to Instagram this week:

YOU’RE OLD NOW.

published by Fran Shea

Didn’t we JUST release new cards?? Is it already October?? Was that blur-filled season actually Summer?? WHAT HAPPENED??

Jen, #oldestintern, and I have scheduled a meeting for tomorrow – I had a serious talk with the Franimals about not interrupting. I’m sure they will still interrupt though because they don’t seem to understand that I hold all of the power over their pathetic little lives. (Ugh, they know they’re in charge.)

If this whole letterpress thing stops being such a lucrative money-maker, I’m gonna invest all of my time and energy in creating dioramas like I did in the 5th grade. Who else could turn a Nike shoebox into an homage to fishing at Lake Calhoun, complete with construction-paper-created boys standing atop a construction-paper-created fishing dock, wielding cane-poles complete with real monofilament fishing line leading to construction-paper-created Carp that, like an illusion, float in the waterless interior of the Nike box??

NOBODY COULD. That’s probably why the older boys smashed it to smithereens. I’M NOT BITTER ABOUT IT AND BARELY REMEMBER THAT EVENT BECAUSE IT HAPPENED 37 YEARS AGO.

Oh, I almost forgot… Sally Struthers has a birthday message to share:

Memento Mori!

published by Fran Shea

Dan the Man (number one) knocked on my door and brought me a heaping pile of curried potatoes on a paper plate, introduced me to the music of Tori Amos, and listened to our kitchen-conversations because our windows were so close. (HOW COULD HE NOT?!)

Dan the Man (number one) also played classical guitar, had a big belly, long curly hair, and wore red suspenders. With OR WITHOUT a stained white t-shirt.

I used to babysit for my baby cousin when Dylan was also a baby (Note: I knew he ate the cat food over there because his poopy-diaper smelled like a litter box). We were picked up in a taxicab three mornings per week

by a hippie named Dan the Man (number two),

and while we buckled up in the backseat (carseats were for suburbanites), he would tell me all about the best items to eat at the Old Country Buffet. Thanks Dan the Man, that IS useful information!

Oh, I carpe diemed like crazy in those days.

Field Trip+!

published by Fran Shea

Our 1983 Field Trip to the Art Institute ended tragically when some naughty eighth-grade boys smuggled in their skateboards and much to the museum docents dismay, rode them up and down the herringbone wood-floored hallways. These same boys also smoked cigarettes and at least one of them had a super-tall mohawk… Lucky for everyone, I looked like this:

My Mom threw caution to the wind and signed ANOTHER permission slip for me the very next year. This time it was to Como Zoo/Park. I made sure to pack my tunafish sandwich and wrap my Shasta in tinfoil just like my sister. It went off without a hitch. For me. One boy in our class was not so fortunate because he decided to avoid the gate and slipped while climbing over the pointy, cast-iron fence. His corduroy pants and bottom were never the same… He walked around holding his derriere and I was, of course, scandalized.

Speaking of school… I made some graduation cards:

And speaking of Field Trips… without permission slips (WHAT??), Lucy and I went to the Arboretum yesterday with Aunt Clare to see the Dahlias and have a picnic. (WITH NO SHASTA?!) Also, we saw Edward Scissorhands stumble out of this grapevine-creation:

And PER TRADITION, I made Jen a birthday card and PER TRADITION we avoided seeing each other. DON’T BE JEALOUS!! 

Kool-Aid Stands and Rocking Horses

published by Fran Shea

Before Cape Cod (could that be the most irritating thing I’ve ever written?? MAYBE), summer days were spent “building” backyard forts, floating to the middle of Lake Calhoun in an orange rubber raft (sans life jackets), stubbing big toes while walking to the beach, and selling Kool-Aid in front of our neighbor’s house to thirsty-passersby.

I don’t remember seeing a nickel of the profit, but I didn’t even care because I didn’t even know what money was for anyway and I looked like this:

Fast-forward 40 years to these kids selling LEMONADE across the street from our house and I’m pretty sure their parents were a part of the whole thing. I mean, look at that professional signage.

I bet none of these girls even wears a neighbor’s hand-me-down unitard for a swimsuit! I’m going to give this birthday card to one of them so they really understand life before it’s too late.

I’m sure their parents will thank me.

Obliviousness is Bliss

published by Fran Shea

Should I care how hot it is outside?? I could feign concern but you and I both know that ever since those worker-guys filled part of my attic with snake-like, foil-wrapped, pre-insulated tubes built to deliver cool and conditioned air through little holes drilled in every ceiling in every room in my house, anything I say would just be platitudes and could you hand me my sweatshirt because, brrr, this mini-duct central AC is almost too cold!

After I wrapped myself in a summer-blanket and watched Les Stroud brave the wilderness in Survivorman, I created two versions of an empathy card. See how I IMAGINED my fellow comrades suffering through tropical temperatures?! (OR, DID I?? Shhhh.)

HAPPY 4TH!!

published by Fran Shea

Independence day in Minneapolis is kind of ho-hum compared to Barnstable. Sure, there ARE fireworks to watch,

but there are zero parades followed by egg-tossing/potato-sack-racing/pie-eating contests.  And definitely no shimmying up poles greased with crisco.

Some call that boring. I call it unAmerican. We ended up buying our own patriotism this year from Menards. (FYI: $2/2 flags.) 

And I loudly wept as each flag was plunged into the lawn. Between my tears, I created a belated-birthday card for #oldestintern using an image from a VINTAGE newspaper she gave me.

I took German (DEUTSCH) in high school (why was I in the same class as my little brother and why did I quack like a duck with Tourette’s every time he spoke?? I’M SORRY, ANDY.) Our teacher was a Russian ballerina who hated being there as much as we did. I DID use my language-skills to translate a movie – here’s a scene:

Ohh, THAT’S what he was saying!!

Sticker-Fun!

published by Fran Shea

I (obsessively) read the entire Black Stallion series under the watchful eye of my molded-plastic mini-Arabian Stallion

and my best, inanimate, friend Raggedy Ann. (Who my mom called Raggedy Baggedy and my older brother reminded me that I could not bring to the first day of Kindergarten. I said I KNOW THAT. But I was lying and couldn’t imagine being separated from her. She was filthy but I didn’t care because underneath her clothes was a secret stitched heart that professed her love to me. 

As if I didn’t have enough blessings bestowed upon my busy-body, I was also honored with a sticker collection album… I don’t think my parents even knew how much it meant to me… I heard my little sister took it over when I had grown “too old” for it. I paged through “her” pages and held back my disappointment! Did she understand that stickers were meant to be saved between the clear plastic pages by cutting them out with their backing and a border that preserves the stickability and ease of future use??instead of just STICKING THEM TO THE CLEAR PLASTIC PAGES NEVER TO BE USED AGAIN??

I’m thinking about stickers again (did I ever really stop??) Because Zeichen Press is gonna stuff these 2″ x 2″ stickers in every order (for all of the big $30 spenders)!

I obviously read the Black Stallion series AGAIN to get into character.